So apparently I jinxed myself with posting about maintaining mood during a vacation. I am sure part of my current dilemma stems from normal post vacation letdown, but it’s becoming more clear I am in the midst of a mixed episode. It started with me feeling a bit blue. That wasn’t so surprising as on vacation I visited a place that holds a lot of powerful memories for me, both good and bad. And while I had a great time, it was impossible to avoid some less than happy memories. I’ve healed a lot but in some respects, it was a bit like pulling off a scab and making the wound fresh again. The last several days have found me sorting through the residual emotions, making sense of things and getting back into my regular routine.
Today found me irritable and longing for solitude following quite a few days of feeling “less than”. If I could get over my bad habit of comparing myself to people who (seem to) have the life I want this would be less of a problem. I know I’m not alone in this problem, studies have shown that thanks to social media, we’re all less satisfied and more depressed.
But the most troubling thing is that I cut a few days ago. I hadn’t done it in months but after allowing social media to get in my head and reaffirm the messages of “I am Not Good Enough” “He Didn’t Want You” and “You are Mentally Ill And Alone”, I did it to ease the pain. And I remembered why I used it as a coping mechanism- instant relief, followed a while later by shame. I’ve been able to keep from cutting anymore, and it’s definitely something I need to discuss with my psychiatrist. So for now, I’m trying to avoid comparing myself to anyone, reminding myself I don’t know their whole story/struggles/thoughts. I continue to try to focus on positives, to reach out to God for help.
I keep remembering being on the outskirts of a forest fire back when I lived in Montana. There was just enough smoke to make it hard to breathe, to cloud your vision. The smoke made things far less comfortable and reminded you of the danger that lay behind it. Mixed episodes remind me of that forest fire, of that smoke. I am praying for safe delivery from the danger.